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Match Report vs Whitchurch Heath 20 July 2016 @ Wenvoe (Skipper Kim, report Tim)

So, my first match report for the Cazh and I was determined to do a proper job, get to the ground early, check out the wicket, maybe even take a selfie whilst assessing the size of any cracks in the wicket with my car keys; and, as luck would have it, now that the teachers are on holiday the traffic on my journey from the Forest of Dean was lighter than normal, allowing me to arrive at Wenvoe with ample time to spare. However, with the gates locked and Shakey nowhere to be seen I resorted to marking time sitting in my car, if only to ensure I wasn’t accosted for a second time by the elderly Whitchurch supporting loon who had already regaled me with an incomprehensible story about Don Bradman seconds after I rocked up.

Order was however restored with the arrival of Shakey at around 5.45 and access gained to the ground, but with time marching on any lingering opportunity for pre-match research was eschewed in favour of some (much needed in my case) catching practice. I was, after all, here to play and not just write a match report (!).

Whitchurch having won the toss (I think – note to self, pay more attention) elected to bat. Dan opened from the pavilion end with a maiden and Shakey started in a similarly miserly fashion from the other end – almost taking a wicket with his fourth ball, a low drive that Rumman did well to get his finger tips to, and his fifth, a sharp stumping from Will that certainly had an air of the benefit of the doubt about it, before inducing another wild swish with his sixth that this time there was no doubt about – Will deftly whipping off the bails with the batsman well out of his ground, a feat that was to be repeated in Shakey’s second over. Whitchurch 1 – 1 after 2 overs.

With two batsmen already back in the pavilion relatively early in the game Whitchurch were looking to rebuild and whilst Dan and Shakey managed to keep the brakes firmly on the scoring, conceding just 21 off their combined 8 overs, they weren’t able to add to the wickets tally.

The first bowling changes saw Pete O take over at the pavilion end and James replace Shakey, with the now set batsmen clearly looking to up the pace a little. The Cazh were looking for inspiration, and it came in rather comical fashion. A fullish ball from Pete was played out towards wide-ish long on, with Dan setting off in pursuit round from long on. The batsman at the striking end, embarking on a run, slipped and fell on his backside. The non-striker, realising the run was no longer on, turned and began sauntering back, failing to realise the potential power and accuracy of Dan’s arm, and a direct hit saw him on his way - 11 overs gone, and Whitchurch were 44 – 3, and a wicket apiece for Pete and James (his first for the Cazh) in the next two overs saw them 5 down with only 51 on the board, and two new batsmen at the crease. Unfortunately that was about as good as it was to get for the Cazh as these two set about putting together a meaningful total, with the final 7 overs yielding 89 runs.

Whitchurch 140 – 5 from their 20 overs. Meaningful, but gettable.

The gap between innings brought news from the English Football Association that they had decided to no longer compete in future World Cups and European Championships (the only logical explanation for employing Big Sam as manager of their national team), and in the meantime the Cazh set about their reply. Openers Tesh and Rumman started solidly, navigating the first couple of overs without looking in any real danger. Rumman then decided to open his shoulders and having cracked a couple of 4s and a 2, was caught at mid wicket, bringing Will to the crease. Tesh was next to go, in the sixth over, bowled by one that (from where I was sitting at least) looked to have kept low. At this point the game was in the balance and for the Cazh to triumph they were going to need a decent partnership. Will and Kim established themselves quickly, trading singles with regularity whilst dispatching the bad balls to the boundary, and when Kim was eventually out, bowled for 36 (3x4, 1x6) to the last ball of the 17th over, the score had moved on to 119 – a partnership of 86 in 12 overs, leaving 22 required from the final 3 – tight, but with Will still at the crease and wickets in hand, the Casuals had cause for cautious optimism.

Any lingering doubts there may have been were however all but extinguished by the end of the wide-laden 18th, which yielded 16 runs, and finally snuffed out at the beginning of the 19th when Will struck a four to square leg to bring up his 50 (a feat almost missed by the scorer – sorry Will) and level the scores. Attempting the same shot to the next ball however proved to be Will’s downfall as he managed a top edge back to the bowler (4x4, 1x6), bringing Richie to the crease to watch the 27th wide of the innings dribble past – a rather anticlimactic end to what had been a well paced and, in the end, relatively comfortable run chase.

Casuals 141 – 4 off 18 and a bit overs (certainly 2 legitimate deliveries, could have been 3).

Dan 4 – 1 – 10 – 0
Shakey 4 – 0 – 11 – 2
Pete 4 – 0 – 27 – 1
James 4 – 0 – 41 – 1
Kim 2 – 0 – 23 – 0
Richie 2 – 0 – 25 – 0

Tesh 8
Rumman 11
Will 50
Kim 36
SteveO 2*
Richie 0*

DNB – Pete, Tim, Dan, Shakey and James




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